Don’t Ask Where I’m From, Ask Where I’m Local

This video resonates with my internal struggle, of the concept of my nationality, expressing patriotism, and how I identify the roots of my history.

The speaker, Ms Taiye Selasi, like many of us in this generation, was born in a different country to where her ancestors were born, and has moved or migrated overseas at some point, identifying as a part of whichever society they assimilated into.

The neat word ‘Multinational’, as ms Selasi points out, is better suited to conglomerates than human beings, She critiques the idea of being a national of any country in fact, as countries are concepts of institution. We are conditioned to think of countries as eternal and constant.

She points out that in her own lifetime, she has seen countries disappear – Czechoslovakia, countries have been reborn – Estonia , and Countries have failed – Somalia; so they are not as permanent as we think, and certainly not a good measure for where a person’s real history comes from.

She exemplifies that an answer like “I’m from Paris”, conjures the idea of the stereotypical Parisian and their cliches, it encourages others to categorize us and assume the myth & legend of Paris.

She suggests that an answer like “I am local to Melbourne & London” creates a more true to character description for those whom have lived abroad.

The key here is that we do not borrow any stereotype as our own representation of personal background, but we paint a more accurate impression by stitching the varied metropolitan cultures that we have been lucky enough to experience.

3R’s= Rituals, Relationship, Restrictions

Her proposition is to replace our assumptions by seeking to understand the 3 defining elements of a person’s culture in the context of their address/ homes.

Rituals are the celebrations, customs, the traditional recipes and so on.

Relationships are the people that shape your weekly emotional experience, best friends, family, face to face contact.

Restrictions, moves away from where are you now, to why are you not where you were? gives a clearer understanding of how the person reacts emotionally to the undesirable elements of their surroundings.

Its not about the specificity of the answer you wish to get, but moving the intention away from simplifying the introduction of a new person, to seeking a deeper understanding of a complex human experience.

What are we really seeking when we ask the question , and what do we hear when they answer with a country.

The usage of countries implies political power and hiding behind a national identity rather than reveal our real, personal multi-faceted identities.

It is when we understand each other’s vulnerabilities and challenges, that we come to recognize each other as human equals.

So where are you local?

FOLLOW-UP VIDEO: THE DANGER OF A SINGLE STORY

THE WORLD WE LIVE IN

Royce Reviews

CLICK TO VIEW SAMPLE PAGES

When I was a child, my mother made the best investment for my general knowledge by buying me this set of pictorial books.

It was a framework of general knowledge presented as a series of imaginative questions, answered with animated visuals & charts, suitable for younger kids that are beginning to speak.

I believe the initial concepts shown in these books helped me absorb information quickly, then  organize any newly learnt information into broader themes discussed in the book.

FIND ONLINE :https://www.librarything.com/work/13592826

I believe that these books had the added benefit of training the readers’ Critical Thinking Skills, as  topics were always presented as a question rather than a definitive answer. It always led to even more questions.

Finally the symbolism of the kid with the question mark T-shirt, asking Prof Grandpa about the many curiosities in his mind. This rhetoric kept me invested in completing the set of books, as it seemed that it was a quest designed just for me.

Some of the great questions to ponder, that are included in this book:

What Are The World’s Hottest Places? 

(Talks about climate and historically hottest dates)

What Is The Coldest Place Where People Live? 

(Introduces the world’s coldest cities)

What Is Life Like for Eskimos of the Far North? 

(Eskimo diet, prey and igloos)

Why Do the People of the Netherlands Build So Many Dikes?

(Intro to windmills and sea levels)

Why Does The World Have Time Zones? 

(Talks about 24 time zones visually)

When Did People Start Shaking Hands?

(Origins of greetings and kissing)

Why Do People Around The World Dress Differently? 

(Examples of Traditional wear)

Does Everyone Celebrate New Year’s? 

(Examples of new year celebrations around the world)

How Are Letters & Packages Sent To Other Countries? 

(Different mailboxes and mail travel)

Why Are Costumes Worn On Halloween? 

(Origins of All Hallow’s Eve)

How Did the Modern Olympics Begin? 

(The modern revival of this Ancient Greek event)

Why Does February Have Only 28 Days? 

(Modern calendar by Emperor Augustus)

…… and many more meaningful questions found in this book.

Are you already an expert Global Citizen?  Try matching the countries’ to their correct details in the scanned image below.

It is one of the best children’s book you will ever buy, forget Harry Potter and Fairy Tales, this should be the first thing your child reads.

Toastmasters 1st Speech Ever

This is Royce here and I would like to announce that I have finally joined Toastmasters to go straight for the Gold title. I have been moving back and forth between Melbourne and Kuala Lumpur that I have not had the chance to commit myself to consistent club meetings and earn my title.

The time has now come to do so and I am very excited to prove myself.

The club that I have chosen is the TTDI Toastmasters which I have included the link to in the links section.

So the first speech that I will have to do ever, is known as the Icebreaker speech. It is interesting because technically any speech you do with a new crowd is an icebreaker speech. The hope here is that the audience immediately breaks their frosty attitudes towards you. I have yet to write up my actual speech and I will have to deliver it on the 4th of July.

This is the Manual of what I will need to do. = http://www.toastmasters.org/PDFs/IceBreaker.pdf